The best Bret Victor video yet: “We don’t know anything about computing.”

September 3, 2013 at 1:43 am 4 comments

The punchline for computing education comes in the last 5 minutes, but the previous 27 minutes are well worth watching.  Bret is critiquing the same mindset I was reporting on when I said that Lisp and Smalltalk are now dead in undergraduate computer science.  “We don’t know what we’re doing” is the most important phrase for computer scientists to say to ourselves and to our students.  I enjoy the flash and style of Bret’s previous videos, but I love the message of this video. The details (with copious references) can be found on his website.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Franklin Chen  |  September 3, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I’m happy to see that there has been increased interest, thanks to Bret Victor, in improving the programming experience. For example, this out just today:

    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  September 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Really cool, Franklin! I have to learn more about Elm.

  • […] found this video through Mark Guzdial. It is the best presentation on programming and computing I’ve seen since I’ve watched […]

  • […] Bret Victor’s great time traveling video emphasized that the 1960′s and 1970′s computer scientists were concerned with expression. How do you talk to a computer, and how should it help you express yourself? As I have complained previously, everything but C and C-like languages have disappeared from our undergraduate curriculum. Bret Victor has explored why we talked about expression in those earlier years. I have a different question: How do we get computer scientists to think about expression again? […]


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